Monday, 26 October 2015

Munnar................A haven of peace and tranquility!!!!

Munnar, one of the breathtakingly beautiful and idyllic tourist destination in God's own country, Kerala.Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.  Unending expanse of tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains, exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests , aroma of spice scented cool air, yes! Munnar has all these and more. It's the place you would love to visit and it's the place you would wish never to leave.

Munnar town is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills village in Devikulam taluka and is the largest panchayat in the Idukki district.Located in the southern western Ghat the place is encircled by wooded hills of the Annamalai Ranges, with the to wearing bulk of Anamudi, which is peninsular India’s highest peak, at 2695m. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018.

Munnar came to be known to the outside world in the 1870s with the visit of the British Resident of the then Travancore kingdom John Daniel Munro. Munro, who visited the place as part of settling the border dispute between Travancore and the nearby state of Madras literally fell for the beauty of the region. Though the Munnar region fell under the jurisdiction of the Travancore kingdom, it was the jenmam land of Poonjar royal family. Since it was a ‘jenmam land’ the royal family enjoyed absolute powers over the land as the landlord.

The places in and around Munnar worth visiting and absolutely breathtaking which should not be missed during your visits.

Eravikulam National Park:
One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park. it is located at a distance of 15 km from Munnar. This park is famous for its endangered inhabitant - the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.

Tea Museum
Munnar has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. Taking account of this legacy and to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This tea museum is first of its kind in India.  The aim of this museum according to its founders is to showcase the growth of more-than-a-century-old tea plantations in this region.This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries; all of which have a story to tell on the origins and growth of tea plantations in Munnar. The museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar and is worth a visit.

Another attraction located about 13 km from Munnar Town, is Mattupetty. Situated at a height of 1700 m above sea level, Mattupetty is known for its storage masonry dam and the beautiful lake, which offers pleasurable boat rides, enabling one to enjoy the surrounding hills and landscape.Mattupetty is also famous for the Indo-Swiss Farm. This is a highly specialized dairy farm  which comes under Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. There are around 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here.

Anamudi Peak
Located inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak. This is the highest peak in south India standing at a height of over 2700 m. Treks to the peak are allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.

Pallivasal is the venue of the first Hydro Electric Project in Kerala , situated at a distance of 8 km from Munnar.  It is a place of immense scenic beauty and is often favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.

Top Station
Top Station, which is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the panoramic view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurinji flowers blooming over a vast area. The panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the valley of Theni from Top station is simply breathtaking.

Located between Munnar and Rajamala, at a distance of 10 kms form Munnar, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 m. The enticing surroundings makes an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
                                                                                                                                          The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-guarded treasure trove of nearly a thousand species of flowering plants. Its not just flora, the Chinnar forest is also home to a thriving animal life. From birds and butterflies to mammals and moths, the 90.44-sq km sanctuary is home to a wide variety of species.It is also credited with having the largest number of reptilian fauna among other sanctuaries in the state, including a celebrated inhabitant - the mugger crocodile.The Thoovanam waterfall, a spectacular waterfall located in the sanctuary, is also an attraction for travelers. A watchtower in the sanctuary offers an unbelievably beautiful view of the sanctuary, vast expanses of green forests extending to the nearby state of Tamil Nadu and far away mountains.

The weather is pleasant all through the year. However, the best time to visit Munnar is between August and March.The nearest airport to Munnar is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of around 119 km. International travelers, directly heading to Munnar, can prefer Ernakulam Town near to the Cochin International Airport as the starting point for their journey to Munnar. The nearest rail-head is Ernakulam Junction, about 120 km away. Public transport services are available to Munnar from almost all major bus stations in the State. For shopaholics, this destination is a heaven – whether tea or spices. You can collect various spices from here like ginger, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, clove, nutmeg etc. Don't miss the homemade chocolates here. Enjoy the white, dark, liqueur filled and chocolates with nuts. Munnar is blessed with lots of resorts and hotels, which will cater all your needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment